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By Jeanetta Anderson

The first big snow came early this year. For some it was welcome. Others, like me, groaned.  Not because we don’t like snow.  Snow, when viewed from the comfort of an overstuffed chair with a good book, hot cup of joe, and a roaring fire in the fireplace is absolutely stunning.  But all too soon something unthinkable happens. Our kids don’t find nearly as much satisfaction in viewing the winter wonderland from the warmth of the living room as we do.  They don’t want to just look. They wanna touch.  So, while we are trying to enjoy a few more moments of our fireside paradise, our children begin drawing scribbles on the fog they have created from their noses and mouths pressed close to the window.  Soon they begin erasing their ‘creations’ by rubbing the palms of their hands back and forth across the window.  As the condensation streams down the glass, they catch the enticingly frosty dribbles with their tongue and quickly discover the pleasure of a warm tongue on cold glass.  At this point we are forced to abandon our fireside paradise, because we know that if we wait much longer, we will have to add window washing to our quickly mounting ‘to do’ list.

Fifteen minutes later everyone is bundled up like explorers prepped for an arctic expedition and ready to head out into the frozen tundra. All too soon when the traditional activities of snow angels, snowman making, sledding, and snowball fights have been exhausted, they come waddling to us with snow-laden clothes, red cheeks, runny noses, and frozen fingers and toes, ready to go in. So goes the long winter months.

Helping our kids get daily exercise and fresh air in the winter takes creativity on our part. Unlike the other seasons when the weather is pleasant enough to be enjoyed for hours on end, it can be challenging to find things to do outside for extended periods of time. Here are a few ideas our family has come up with/done over the years.

  • Spray bottles of colored water are a great way to ‘paint’ pictures in the snow.
  • Fill sand castle molds with water and set them out to freeze.  Continue freezing and dumping until you have enough pieces to build your kingdom.  ‘Glue’ pieces together with warm water and a paint brush.
  • Create ice snow globes by filling balloons with glitter water and freezing them. Put your globes on bucket bases to display them.
  • Create simple ice sculptures by filling longer balloons with water and shaping your animal before freezing it.
  • Break off long icicles hanging from the house for a sword fight. 
  • Collect clean snow and make snow cream.  There are several good recipes online.

Remember, exercise and fresh air is good for us too! Get out there with your kiddos and have fun. After all, there’s ‘snow’ place like home to make memories together – even in the winter.


Comments (2)

  1. Tami Rossow:
    Dec 05, 2018 at 09:14 AM

    great article. can't wait to try some of your ideas

  2. Rob Spykstra:
    Dec 06, 2018 at 08:37 AM

    Thanks for the great ideas as I get ready to be home with the kids over the Christmas break.

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